A major vaping warning has been issued after a five-year-old boy was hospitalised after vaping at school. Yes, you read that right, a five-year-old. It’s time we wised up as a society that vaping is not harmless and vaping most certainly is not appropriate for children.
A Victorian dad is angry that his five-year-old son has ended up in the hospital after partaking in vaping with a classmate at his school, and is now demanding much tighter restrictions on the selling and using of vaping products.
It’s reported by the boy’s father, Steven, that the vape his son had used was brought into the school grounds by a fellow student, aged just seven who had picked it up from his home.
“Another child grabbed his mum’s vape at home, brought it into the schoolyard and asked them to come into the bushes and suck on this, it tastes like grapes.”
By the time the school day was over, so too was the disposable, grape flavoured vape.
Now, three weeks after the schoolyard incident, the five-year-old is relentlessly coughing, vomiting and struggling to breathe. The little boy was ultimately rushed to Geelong hospital where he and his family are waiting to hear if he has developed pneumonia. Steven says of the incident:
“He couldn’t stop coughing to the point that he was no longer breathing… I had no choice but to call an ambulance.”
Vaping is not harmless and not for kids
It’s terrifying for parents that children are vaping SO young. Scary that they’re vaping at all. Now that Steven has witnessed first-hand the effect of the products on children, he’s rallying and demanding for child protection and tighter restrictions on vaping and their sales which is often marketed with cartoons, appealing fruit flavours and catchy names. He says:
“I can’t open a Panadol bottle without some force, as you’d well know, but a child can pick up one of these devices that has nicotine in it”
And if you think it’s all just a bit of harmless fun, you’d be wrong. It’s reported that Steven paid almost $3500 to have the vapes analysed in a laboratory. The preliminary results reveal they contain at least sixteen chemicals, including nicotine.
Vaping: What are the risks for kids?
The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne says that most e-cigarettes (vapes) contain nicotine which is highly addictive, especially for teens. E-cigarettes and their associated liquid may contain nicotine, even if they have been labelled ‘nicotine free’. One single e-liquid pod can contain as much nicotine as a packet of cigarettes.
Addiction aside, vaping can make your child incredibly sick. Nicotine exposure can harm brain development and nicotine poisoning – either through swallowing or skin contact – can result in your child feeling symptoms including sweating, dizziness, vomiting and increased heart rate.
Teach your kids that vaping is not ok
Kids vaping HAS to stop. Much like smoking cigarettes, we have to educate our children on what is in e-cigarettes and what it does to their bodies, no matter how ‘cool’ partaking in it appears to be on their social media and within their friend circle.
Talking with children and teenagers about risky behaviours is a crucial way for parents to help keep their kids safe. We already school our kids about stranger danger, drinking alcohol, cigarettes and drugs, E-cigarettes and vaping should be included in the conversation now.
Finally, kids learn what they see. If they’re exposed to behaviours at home, they’re often going to try it themselves. So if you smoke e-cigarettes yourself, try not to do it around your children and don’t leave your equipment in places where they can access it. Monkey see monkey do! And it’s ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.
Above all else, you must not fall into the trap to think you have to have a teenager to be worrying about vaping. Kids are being exposed and experiencing these pressures at a much younger age today. It’s time we all wised up!